Thursday, March 23, 2017

Desoto National Forest: Tuxachanie Trail

 

With temperatures near 70 and a cool breeze in the air, the weekend weather certainly warranted a hiking trip.   Therefore, the Frugal Family Travelers packed the van and set out  on an adventure to the Tuxachanie Trail, located in Desoto National Forest.   Spanning the length of Gulfport to Hattiesburg, MS, Desoto  comprises approximately 500,000 acres with the Tuxachanie Trail being one of the gems to be found in this lush forest.   The 12 mile trail  has three access points with opportunities for viewing an array of habitats including wetlands, dry grasslands, creeks, pitcher plants, pine forests and a beautiful magnolia forest.   The trailhead, off highway 49 in Saucier MS, initially follows an old logging rail, where trees were once harvested for a multitude of purposes, including making turpentine and rosin.   

Tips:  Pack water, bug spray and sunscreen; print a map from the forest website or take a picture of the posted copy on your phone before you embark.  It is important to note that during hunting season one should wear orange colored clothing to increase visibility for hunters.   Check the forest service website for hunting seasons.  

Note:  On the eastern end of the 12 mile trail is an old  WWII POW camp, which overlooks a small pond and also a serves as a recreational area for visitors.  Your Frugal Family Travelers can certainly hike the full 12 miles to this  but be aware that it can also be accessed by vehicle.  
(Click here for more information and directions to the POW Camp and Recreational area.)

Directions to Trailhead: 
 

 

 

 

 

 


Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be verified prior to departure.


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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lookout Mountain Parkway Series Post 1: Noccalula Falls




Frugal Family Travelers recently embarked on an adventure to explore the Lookout Mountain Parkway!  Spanning for approximately 93 miles from Gadsden, AL to Chattanooga, TN, the parkway offers mountain views, hiking, birding, waterfalls and small towns with a rich history!

When thinking of the Lookout Mountain Parkway, many may recall visits to Ruby Falls, Rock City and possibly even an exciting trip up the incline railway!  However, on this trip, our focus was to find experiences off the beaten path! This post and future posts in the series will highlight our discoveries in a effort to inspire other Frugal Family Travelers to explore some of these great places!


Series Post 1:  Noccalula Falls 

Directions

1500 NOCCALULA ROAD, GADSDEN, AL, 35904


Cost

Free (if just viewing falls from parking area);  For full access to park: Adults $6.00;Seniors (55+) $4.00;Youth (4-12) $3.00;Children FREE

Note:  cabins, RV/tent sites available 

Noccalulla Falls Park features the best view of the 90 ft falls and is therefore well worth the admission price.  Park offerings include access to the authentic pioneer village, the 5 mile gorge trail to the base of the falls, a petting zoo and train which circles the park.  We were lucky that our visit was during the Christmas season, when the park was transformed with an amazing display of lights.   During our visit the area had experienced an extreme drought and therefore Noccalula Falls was not nearly as impressive as it is would be during a typical visit. 


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Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be verified prior to departure.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Looking for a Holiday Getaway? Enjoy this Alabama Oasis

 
Located a little over 4 hours from the Northshore of New Orleans, Chewacla State Park, in Auburn, Al, is the perfect spot for a quick "getaway" in the fall, winter or a full summer experience.  Activities such as mountain biking, camping, hiking, fishing and boating abound in the park and are certain to satisfy the desires of both the thrill seeker and outdoor enthusiast!   One of the prominent features in the park is the 26 acre lake and the 6 cottages, both constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp. in the 1930's.   One is certain to find a spot for respite at the foot of the water fall created as the water spills over the damn onto the rock laden stream bed below.  In fact, many such spots can be found at Chewacla State Park so consider adding this place to your bucket list!  It won't break the bank and will provide an opportunity to make numerous memories with your Frugal Family Travelers! 

(Be sure to click on all highlighted text within the blog for additional information regarding activities, including websites, special instructions and travel directions!)

Tips: 
Pack water, sunscreen, and insect repellent!!

Note:  This is a great place to picnic!
Directions:

 
 
 

Be sure to check the area for letterboxes!!  To discover more about letterboxing Click Here to read the information previously posted on our blog.
  
 

Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be verified prior to departure.

View FrugalFamilyTraveler's photos on Trover

Saturday, September 24, 2016

3 Amazing Spots in GA

One of the many spectacular views to be seen at Duke's Creek Falls!

You would be hard pressed to find someone to dispute the fact that North Georgia abounds with natural beauty!  However, with the Smoky Mountains so close in proximity,  folks sometimes forget to take advantage of some amazing places in neighboring areas.  

There are three such spots to be featured in this post which can be combined with one another or with other spots which have been previously reviewed on this blog (see links below).  Doing so is sure to create a magical trip for your Frugal Family Travelers!

Duke's Creek Falls

Directions:  Richard B. Russell Scenic Hwy; Helen GA 30545

Cost:  $4 per vehicle honor box

Note:  Picnic tables and a vaulted restroom are available at the trail head

The first spot is located in the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest and is a short drive from Helen, GA.  Duke's Creek Falls features a scenic trail which parallels the stream for most of the hike. The gently sloping 2.5 mile (round trip) trail is well maintained which makes for an easy hike for families with kids.   At the base of the falls are several decked seating areas to view various sections of the falls.  
 


Chattahoochee River Tubing

Directions:  www.helentubing.com 

Cost:  Approx. $10 per person

Note:  Many tubing facilities are available.  Check around to discover which offers the best rate for your needs.

If adventure is what your Frugal Family Travelers are seeking, then consider tubing down the Chattahoochee River in Helen, GA.   There are numerous outfitters in the area which provide a multitude of options including packages with zip lining or a water park.   The basic trip is around $10 per person and includes shuttle service and life jackets.  It is highly recommended to bring or buy a stick for dislodging yourself from rocks on the river.   Don't panic, this is part of the fun!   The water was very low the day of our visit but we had an amazing time and laughed until our sides split!

 
 

Anna Ruby Falls

Located in Helen, GA and nestled inside Unicoi State Park, Anna Ruby Falls offers a breathtaking hike along a white water stream and equally breathtaking water fall!   The 1 mile (round trip) trail is completely paved so those traveling with wheel chairs and strollers can easily access this area, although the incline is quite steep.  The falls has a welcome center with restroom and requires a small fee per person.

Directions:  3455 Anna Ruby Falls Rd, Sautee, GA 30571

Cost: $3 per person

Operating Hours:  Open 7 days a week from 9-6 (summer)  or 9-5 (winter) with the exception of major holidays.  No admission after 6 pm./5pm respectively based on the summer and winter season.

Note:   The falls is adjacent to Unicoi State Park but is run by the National Park Service.  You must travel through Unicoi State Park to access the parking lot for the Anna Ruby Falls trail.  There are amazing picnic spots in Unicoi and other opportunities for explorations there as well so be sure to check it out!  

 



Combine the places above with any of the following for an amazing vacation to the area:

3 Hidden Treasures Near Atlanta



Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be verified prior to departure

Friday, June 24, 2016

2 Gems in the State of Tennessee


(Pictured above is Rock Island State Park)

Frugal Family Travelers recently marked two places off the bucket list on a trip to Tennessee.   Sure, the Great Smokey Mountains National Park is a beautiful place, but don't dismiss the many state parks found there as well!  There are many hidden gems in the TN state parks to satisfy those with a wanderlust for natural beauty!   Regardless, of the season one chooses to visit, there is fun to be had at the parks below!

Burgess Falls State Park


Among our first stop was the amazing Burgess Falls State Park!   A short hike led us to a protruding rock ledge from which the water flows!  This ledge creates a beautiful pristine scene reminiscent of a tropical paradise.  At the time of our visit, the stairs leading to the base of the falls were not accessible, due to structural problems.   If traveling to the base of the falls is something you strongly desire, we would highly recommend calling the park office for an update regarding the repair status,.  We were a little disappointed, not having access,  but still loved our visit here. In addition, to the large falls at the end of the trail there are many smaller falls to see as your traverse along your way!





Rock Island State Park


The next stop on our journey was Rock Island State Park!   This location ranks among the top of our list for "most interesting" waterfalls!  It's hard to fully capture the beauty of this waterfall or its uniqueness, as the water literally seems to spill out of the side of the mountain and empty into the adjacent river below!  It is important to note that, like many areas, it is prone to flash flooding.   The area is equipped with a flashing light and warning siren to alert travelers to evacuate to the parking area when a threat is present. Do not let this be a reason to skip a visit here!  It is very safe and the hike is less than a couple of blocks to the parking area!


 

 
Tips:
Prior to departure, check the park hours and for possible closures. Hike times vary for those of varying age and skill - factor in extra time.   Never enter a long trail at dusk! Pack a first aid kit, water, bug spray and snacks! Sometimes cell service is limited or unavailable on hiking trails so let someone know when you enter and depart a trail. 


Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be v

Friday, April 29, 2016

Summer Kids' Flicks at the Grand Theatre in Slidell

 

Our Frugal Family Travelers like to stay busy over the summer months!  One acticity we certainly enjoy is a trip to the movie theatre.   The Grand Theatre in Slidell offers a series of weekly $4 movies for kids. Take a look at the schedule above and plan to go to the movies with your family this summer! 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

4 Outdoor Jewels in Alabama



Our Frugal Family Travelers love exploring locations on and off the beaten path!  Many times when planning a trip, we look for smaller outdoor gems that may typically be overlooked when traveling to an area/city with a bigger attraction.   Those reading this post who travel with kids know that staying active is the key to a successful trip!  We typically like to combine a big attraction with a small one to provide a variety of adventures when  traveling.  Outdoor gems, like the ones reviewed in this post, can certainly be combined with other family plans to satisfy this need and will also provide lasting memories.

So, whether you are planning an entire trip to Alabama, or just passing through, the 4 locations showcased in the post are worthy of your attention for both the unforgettable scenery and the history!

Note: The following locations are only a short driving distance of one another! 

Moss Rock Preserve 


With its beautiful waterfalls, rock formations and nearly 12 miles of hiking trails to explore, Moss Rock Preserve is a place that tips the travel scale and is certainly one our Frugal Family Travelers plan to visit again! There are 3 trail heads in the preserve, at different locations, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the trail map before departing.  It is important to note that the area is managed and owned by the city of Hoover, so familiarize yourself with the rules before entering.   We arrived at the preserve late in the day and therefore choose to explore the Boulder Field Trail Head for its popularity with the locals.  It did not disappoint!  With a short hike, we experienced beautiful rock formations and with an additional short hike we were able to explore beautiful streams and waterfalls.  The pictures below are certainly worth a thousand words!  





Boulder Canyon Nature Area

Directions: 1221 Montgomery Hwy, Vestivia Hills, AL 35216, Trail entrance is behind the Vestivia Hills Library.  Park in the library parking lot.  You can enter the library and take the trail out of the back of the young adult section of the library or walk around to the back of the library on the outdoor path.

Cost:  Free

Our Frugal Family Travelers stumbled onto this little wonder in Vestivia Hills, AL.    It is an awesome example of how community spirit, local government and the public school system can join forces to create a natural oasis for learning and respite from the fast paced world in which we live.  The nature area encompasses approximately 20 acres owned in part by the elementary school and local government.  The land and trails by the stream were originally cut by the Cub Scouts in the 80's with subsequent scouting groups adding to the trail which now extends behind the AMAZING Vestivia Hills Public Library. Our Frugal Family Travelers highly recommend exploring the trail and then the library!  You may want to bring your own book and read at one of the outdoor benches or by one of the massive boulders you will encounter by the Patton Creek watershed. 



Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park

Directions: 12632 Confederate Pkwy, McCalla, AL 35111

Cost:  Adults $2; Children $1; Seniors $1

Hiking, history, cabins, camping and a train all come to mind when recalling our Frugal Family adventure at Tannehill!   Although, we did not stay in the park, it is certainly an option and one on our bucket list when visiting the area again!   Our day here consisted of a picnic by the stream, hiking and exploring the rich history to be found here.  Be sure to visit the Tannehill website for current museum times, train schedules and admission prices!  




Oak Mountain State Park

Directions: 200 Terrace Dr, Pelham, AL 35124

Cost:  Adults $5; Children $2; Seniors $2

Oak Montain State Park is truly a one stop shopping place when traveling.  One could certainly stay here for numerous days!  With clear lakes, boating/fishing opportunities, beautiful mountain biking trails, hiking trails, horseback riding, golf course,  a waterfall and a bird hospital/sanctuary, there is not a reason in the world anyone would ever be bored while visiting Oak Mountain State Park.  Furthermore, the cabins and camping opportunities are amazing!  

This happens to be the second time our Frugal Family Travelers have visited Oak Mountain!  We spent our time during this visit hiking to Pevine Falls as well as touring the bird sanctuary.    Check out our pictures below to capture a glimpse of this jewel! 


Tips:
Hike times vary for those of varying age and skill - factor in extra time.   Never enter a long trail at dusk! Pack a first aid kit, water, bug spray and snacks! Sometimes cell service is limited or unavailable on hiking trails so let someone know when you enter and depart a trail. 


Disclaimer:
All content provided on Frugal Family Travelers blog is for informational purposes only. The owners of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.  The owners of Frugal Family Travelers blog do not share personal information with third-parties and are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without permission.  As with all travel, operating days, times, costs, etc., should be verified prior to departure